In a story by Fletcher Page of the Courier-Journal, he says that an information sheet was left during the UK Media Day back in August that gave the Kentucky players a few pointers during the interview process.
Kentucky’s two no-no’s for the interviews?
“40-0 talk” and “leaving for the NBA after this year,” Page indicated.
What Calipari and the basketball staff did allow? The ability to be open on social issues.
“On the current social issues and political landscape, we are NOT going to tell you not to answer these or to express your opinion. Some things are bigger than basketball, and the current landscape is.”
The interview help guide told players if they wanted to state their opinion on controversial topics, they need to be educated and know the facts.
“With that said, if you are going to state your opinion, please …
“1. Be ready to own what you say and understand there are consequences. That doesn’t mean you’re going to get in trouble with the team or anything like that; just know that, right or wrong, whatever you say, someone likely won’t agree with it or will have a different opinion.
“2. Be educated about what you’re talking about. If you’re going to have an opinion about something, know the facts.”
Page asked Calipari about the sheet and the risk/reward that comes with his players being outspoken on issues.
“I may not agree with everything or how they choose to let their feelings be known, but if it’s educated, if they understand the risk, they understand the consequences, I’ll be with them,” Calipari said in August.
What did Coach Cal tell his players behind closed doors on all of this?
“Don’t be at the front of the line because they want you at the front of the line because of your name. Educate yourself. What are they protesting? Do I agree with what they’re protesting? Is everything involved in this what I agree with? What are the consequences if I do this act? If I break windows is it worth me going to jail? Is there another way I can make it known? Is there another way to protest? Is there another way to get my point across?”
Read Page’s article over on Courier-Journal here.